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Conservation of Clocks and Related Objects/MA Conservation Studies

Course Description

Still accepting applications for 2016/17

The programme has an international profile for conservation of clocks and provides an historical and cultural context for the analysis, assessment and treatment of historic objects. You will develop practical, theoretical and professional conservation skills, applying your learning to making treatment decisions for exciting and challenging projects.

::You can expect::

- To develop excellent practical skills through object-based treatments
- To learn the principles and techniques of historical horological manufacture and repair
- To study materials science and learn about preventative conservation
- To work on historic objects

::Learning environment::

- High tutor: student ratio
- Workshop access 7am-10pm, 7 days a week
- Teaches students to understand and apply Icon's Professional Standards in Conservation
- Interdisciplinary environment
- Visits from specialists from the heritage and private sectors
- Visits to museums and active links with heritage bodies

Programme Aims

The aims of the programme are to provide:


1. A context for the analysis, assessment and treatment of historic horological objects

2. The opportunity to develop sophisticated specialist craft and conservation skills

3. A research environment for the development and public dissemination of innovative
approaches to the conservation of horological objects


1. The opportunity to contribute to the development of historical, cultural and technical
understanding of horology through primary research and investigation

2. The opportunity to evaluate methodologies, develop critiques and propose new hypotheses

3. A context for individual inquiry and group debate across the conservation specialisms


1. A context for the development of a range of verbal, written and visual skills appropriate for the
communication and documentation of conservation projects and research

2. A context for the development of, and critical reflection upon, personal and professional codes
of practice

3. Opportunities to plan and implement a range of projects that are either increasingly technically
more complex, or have issues that are of a compounded or more complex nature


Graduates go on to work as conservators for the heritage, public, corporate and private sectors, or as makers, repairers, restorers, teachers or advisors. There are many areas of specialism within the profession.

Students often progress from the Postgraduate Diploma to MA Conservation Studies - https://www.westdean.org.uk/study/school-of-conservation


You will work in our specialist Clocks workshop with access to an analytical laboratory. Collaboration with other conservation specialisms makes for a uniquely enriched learning environment.

The on-site Art and Conservation Library puts thousands of specialist books and journals within your reach and you can access specialist databases in the IT suite.

Visit the Conservation of Clocks and Related Objects/MA Conservation Studies page on the West Dean College website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Tabea Rude

"I completed an apprenticeship in watch making and repairs in Pforzheim in Germany that includes basic techniques but I didn't want to pursue a career in watch repairs. My tutor recommended West Dean College as the only College that offers this type of Clocks Conservation programme. There are no definitive answers when conserving historical clocks; it's up to you to work out the best approach to each new project, drawing upon the vast experience within the industry.

I spent time last summer as an intern at the National Maritime Museum and later secured an internship in the workshop at James Nye's collection (The Clockworks) in London."


Entry Requirements

To join the PGDip/MA programme you will need to have a good first degree in Conservation or a closely related field; or have completed a Graduate Diploma in a closely related subject; or demonstrate an equivalent proficiency in basic conservation science, academic skills (research, writing and critical analysis) and practical hand skills, including manual sensitivity and dexterity. Progression to the MA is subject to the successful completion of the first semester and the identification of an appropriate MA project. Students may choose to exit the programme at the Postgraduate Diploma stage.

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Recipient: West Dean College
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